IoT
Business & Finance
News
10/21/2004
11:30 AM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
IoT & Insurance: How Big Data May Affect Your Privacy & Premiums
May 06, 2016
Gwenn Bezard is co-founder and research director at Aite Group, where he leads the insurance pract ...Read More>>

Assessing The Security Threat Of Google's Desktop Search

There is some confusion about threats posed by the new search tool. Google says common sense is enough of a patch.

Google's Desktop Search doesn't come with a warning label, but perhaps it should. "This isn't a great application for cybercafes or library terminals," says Marissa Mayer, director of consumer Web products at Google Inc.

Google introduced the application online last week. The software enables people to search their E-mail files, instant-messaging chats, Web-browsing history, and other local documents using Google's Web interface.

Mayer suggests thinking of the application as a photographic memory for a computer's activities. One thing that's necessary for memory, she says, is a history. Toward that end, the application indexes and stores versions of files and other computer activity. The company's stated goal is to make information easier to find.

This presents a challenge to those who rely on security through obscurity.

"It's a double-edged sword," says Richard Smith, an Internet privacy and security consultant. "It's great for organizing. It's a wonderful tool. The downside is it's also a spying tool." If someone has access to your computer and is curious about what you've been up to, that person can just type in a few phrases, he adds.

"We can only make Desktop Search as secure as your computer," Mayer says. "If you lose control of your computer, yes, it's possible people could use Desktop Search and search for various items. However, there are also a lot of other things they could do to your computer while they're sitting in front of it."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
4 Trends Shaping Digital Transformation in Insurance
Insurers no longer have a choice about digital adoption if they want to remain relevant. A comprehensive enterprise-wide digital strategy is fundamental to doing business today.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of April 24, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week!
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.